While physical demand for gold was up 21% in 2013, gold investors dumped $40 billion-worth of gold-backed funds. That meant the net demand for gold was down 15% last year according to the World Gold Council. In fact, net gold demand was at a four-year low.
Gold exchange-traded fund outflows amounted to 881 tons, more than double the net amount purchased by the world's central banks.
According to Steve Cortes, founder of Veracruz TJM, there are fewer reasons to own gold now despite recent gains.
"It's had a very nice bounce so far in 2014," says Cortes on CNBC's Street Signs' Talking Numbers segment, "but it's really not that material when you put in the context of last year's performance. If you bought it a year ago today, you're still down almost 20% in gold."
Since gold is considered a hedge against inflation, Cortes notes one key factor for an inflationary environment is missing.
"We just don't see inflationary pressures primarily because wages are just too constrained," says Cortes. "Wage gains have been tepid, at best. That's not the recipe for an inflationary gold rally."
Looking at the technicals for the world's largest gold ETF – the SPDR Gold Trust ETF (the GLD) – Prime Executions' Chief Equity Strategist Steven Pytlar sees the potential for a short term bounce but a long term drop.
"It's been in a downtrend since 2011," says Pytlar of the GLD. He notes that the ETF traded in a sideways range from November 2011 to March 2013, a pattern be believes is repeating again.
"There is a bit more upside here as it has had this nice bounce," says Pytlar. "But, we think around $134 [roughly, $1,340/oz.], it's going to start running into some selling pressure and likely turn lower from there as there aren't any big reversal signals yet. That big downtrend from 2011 [is] likely still in effect."
To see the full discussion on gold with Cortes on the fundamentals and Pytlar on the technicals, watch the video above.
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